Fashion accessories refer to fancy and additional items used to accentuate and highlight the beauty, color and style of a garment outfit as well as style statement. The gamut of fashion accessories includes a wide variety of items such as jewelery, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses, pins, hair stuffs, stockings, bow ties, leg warmers, leggings, necktie, suspenders, etc. Of these, jewelery such as earrings and necklaces, bags and watches are more popular. Fashion accessories can radically alter the appearance and change the entire look and personality of an individual.
Religious and cultural symbols also serve as fashion accessories such as the crucifix, which is symbolic of the Christian faith. This is often used by rock stars and popular musicians to make a style statement. Other similar symbols used as fashion symbols includes the Jewish star, Islamic headscarves, skullcaps and turbans.
Some cultures do not approve the usage of accessories and avoid all forms of jewelery. Other cultures utilize beaded jewelry, leather strings and other items widely and these have emerged as an assertion of belief and/or as fashion accessories. Christians wear the cross which represents the crucifixion of the Christ. In the USA, purity rings are worn by some Christians to signify sexual purity till marriage.
Several high end clothing brands also market matching range of accessories for various outfits. Designer accessories and styles are seen as indicative of a higher social status. Today, brands catering purely to accessories have emerged both in the haute couture and ready to wear fashion. With increasing experimental tendencies in the fashion industry, newer fashion accessories are being developed each time.
Accessories are also available for men. Men's fashion accessories consist of belts, ties, clothespins, wallets, hats, caps, etc. Fashion accessories can also be used for sports and these could consist of backpacks, purses, hats or small earrings.
For evening and night parties, heavy and bright jewelery is considered fashionable as against day wear accessories which should preferably be lighter. On mixing and matching, one can create an interesting look with varied models, materials and colors. Collecting accessories which match clothes in neutral colors such as black or straw color is also advised.
Fashion accessories also serve highly useful functions, other than lending an element of style or elegance. Handbags are required to carry essential items; gloves are used to keep warm in cold winters and hats are useful for protection from excessive sunlight to block the UV rays. Handbags are available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit the occasion and are often used to keep an assortment of items such as wallets, keys, tissues, feminine products, cell phones and other personal items. Bracelets, nose rings, necklaces, earrings and other similar items also serve as fashion accessories.